National Preparedness Month: Create a Will

Being prepared is a key principle of the American Red Cross. Estate planning is an important and sometimes overlooked part of preparedness, so we’re sharing some information to help you plan ahead and get your financial affairs in order.

In fact, we’ve even partnered with FreeWill.com so you can create your will online—entirely for free.

This secure, online tool will take you through the will preparation process step by step. If you have a simple estate, you can print your legal will to be signed and witnessed. If you have a more complex estate (or if you have any concerns at all), the same tools will help you document your wishes and find a qualified attorney near you to finalize your plans. The site also allows you to set up an Advance Healthcare Directive and Durable Financial Power of Attorney.

The Red Cross offers additional resources to help you be prepared in this important area including an estate planning guide and workbook that’s available in an electronic or paper copy.

Even if you already have a will, you’ll want to examine it periodically to make sure it continues to reflect your wishes. When should you review and update your will? — Anytime you experience a major life change such as:

  • Birth of children or grandchildren
  • Major shifts in assets
  • Loss of a spouse
  • Remarriage or divorce
  • Death of an heir

Your will is one of the most personal and important financial documents in your life. Without a legitimate will, the government—not you—will decide how your affairs and assets are handled. Many of us are making the choice to be prepared, and we hope you will too.

It’s the global mission of the American Red Cross to help you stay prepared. Give yourself and your family peace of mind. If you would like your own copy of our estate planning guide and workbook or have questions please contact Carol Eames, our Gift Planning Officer. Carol can be reached toll free at (855) 831-5536 or by email at Carol.Eames@redcross.org.

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